Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

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Isn’t it interesting that one’s faith story does not stand alone?  All of us are influenced by the lives of other Christians who have come before us or stood around us.  These individuals not only guide us as we walk through this life, but they give us a model of Christ among us.

I am blessed because I was raised in a Christian home.  My parents took me to church every Sunday, served as president of the church council, helped fund all of my youth trips, and just encouraged me along the way.  I am also blessed because I was given the opportunity to go to a Christian college.  Through my four years at Luther College I was given numerous opportunities to grow in my faith and to work in fellowship with others.

But all of that aside, my faith story starts with my Grandma Joyce.  I love my grandma so much and we’ve always had a great bond.  This might be because I’m the only granddaughter or that I’m the oldest grandchild or that we live only 15 minutes away from each other or that we both have a passion toward the field of education.  But I think the main, underlining reason we are so close is because of our faith.  My grandma knows so much about her faith and is committed to living out her Christian life to the best of her ability.  She plays the organ at church (for free!), leads church services at the local retirement home, participates and leads Bible studies, and so much more!

But she has affected me so much by allowing me to be a part of her spiritual journey.  I have sung along to hymns as she played the piano for the nursing home residents.  I have participated in her Bible studies and I have joined her Christian book club.  But more than that, I have discussed and debated Christianity with my grandma.  I go to her with questions.  I go to her when I feel alone.  I go to her when I need support.  And she is ALWAYS there for me.

My grandma has also taught me that faith is not talking, faith is doing and showing God’s love to others.  My challenge for all of you is to consider how YOU help others on their Christian journey.  How do you show God’s love to others?  How do you support others when they need some of God’s compassion in their lives?  How do you lead others in their faith?

God is here!  That is the message of Easter.  He is here among us!  He lives in us and through us.  How are WE sharing this life-giving love to others?

I wish you all a blessed Holy Week.  May God’s love shine in you and through you always.

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Change – Amy Smith

Posted: March 19, 2013 in Faith
Tags: , , , ,

amyChange…it is never an easy transition because there is the excitement, but in turn there is the uncertainty. It is leaving what is comfortable to something completely unknown. I recently switched career paths from teaching to working for a radio station in sales. Talk about a 180! Through the difficult decision to change my job direction, I found one constant and that was my faith. I continually searched and prayed for some kind of peace because of my frustration with my job, which I never thought would come in the form of a new career path or during the middle of a school year. I found my faith stronger than ever in making the decision because it was what I was being led to with God. It was a tough decision to leave the kids but I knew this change was for the best for me and I know God has wrapped His arms around them and cared for them, just as He does with us all in our times of uncertainty and change. As my mom has always told me, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and God won’t give you anything you and He can’t handle.” So yes change stinks and is hard, but if God didn’t want us to change….He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die for us SO we could change and learn to follow His way. Jesus changed his life to save ours so I challenge you to find a way to change your life to follow that saying WWJD- What Would Jesus Do? With being in the season of Lent, many people give up something. Instead of giving up something, try making a permanent CHANGE like Jesus did to make us all closer to God.
Best blessings,
Amy

 

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I don’t know which of the four worship services at Our Savior’s you tend to gravitate towards most often, but I usually find myself in a pew at the 11 a.m. service. For me it’s not a preference of style of music, or even the ability to sleep in on Sunday (which I secretly enjoy), but I appreciate the small group and the laid back nature of the service. There’s a beautiful way we share the creed that’s unlike what I’ve experienced before – it’s sung in an upbeat fashion that is unique yet sacred. It’s refreshing.

 

Yesterday we had an overwhelming experience at the 11 a.m. service. There were six children gathered at the font to receive the waters of baptism. I’ve seen and experienced countless baptisms over the years. But this was the first time I noticed how awesome it was to see the light. There were so many children up there it took three people to prepare the candles to share with them and their sponsors. It looked a bit like a miniature candlelight service. What a gift their presence was to us yesterday.

 

Eugene Peterson’s translation of Matthew 5:14 is beautiful. He writes, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” Yesterday was a good reminder for me to pay attention to the light. And to wonder, for myself, and to invite you to consider in your life, how am I carrying the Savior’s light in my heart? Even though I miss the mark sometimes, and maybe you do too, I trust that the Savior’s light is at work in the tapestries of our lives “bringing out the God-colors in the world.” I love that baptism is just the beginning.

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Here at Our Savior’s we love to share our stories of faith; stories about the ways God has entered into our lives and stories about the ways we can share our gifts and bless others.

This blog is one that will be filled with stories of the people of Our Savior’s. We will strive to put up weekly posts that talk about our faith, our joys and struggles, our blessings and our pains.

And we want you involved, too. This blog aspires to be interactive – a conversation where we can join together in an online community, walking the walk of faith with one another.

We look forward to traveling this journey with you.